The problem with playing electric guitar is that there is always something better than what you have. Whether it’s your guitar, amp, distortion, delay, cable, whatever – there is always something better than what you have in your hands. I fall into this trap all the time.
The progression goes something like this: I am satisfied with my tone. I read about a new piece of gear online. I am no longer satisfied with my tone. I sell the piece of equipment that I am no longer satisfied with and buy the new gear that I have been obsessing over. Rinse and repeat.
My most recent gear rinse cycle has been amp related. I was satisfied with my Top Hat Club Royale until someone offered me a different amp as part of a bigger trade. This particular amp was a Matchless Chieftain. I have always heard magical things about Matchless amps, so my interest was piqued, and I agreed to the trade. As soon as I plugged in the Chieftain I was pretty sure that I had made a mistake.
I pretty much hated it right off the bat, but I did my best to convince myself otherwise. I mean, how could I hate a Matchless? I tried swapping tubes, different guitars, and I tried some really weird knob settings. I finally found a setting that I didn’t hate, but didn’t really love. I tried to make the amp work for about 3 months before I gave up and sold it.
I ended up buying a Bogner Goldfinger 45, which is a really cool amp. [I'll work on a review/demo at some point.] It has a really fantastic clean channel. It might even be the best clean amp that I have ever used. The first time I plugged it in, I was really relieved that I didn’t immediately hate it. The gain channel is good and really flexible, but it’s kinda tricky to dial in. I would like a little more gain, but part of that problem may be the fact that I don’t have any humbucker guitars right now.
Anyway, now that I have an amp that I am happy with, I have resolved to try to stay happy with it. I need to work on my chops and stop trying to fix my musical shortcomings with my wallet.